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Motivating Structural Realist Interpretations of Spacetime

Bain, Jonathan (2009) Motivating Structural Realist Interpretations of Spacetime. In: [2009] Metaphysics of Science (Melbourne, July 2-5, 2009).

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    Abstract

    Motivated by examples from general relativity and Newtonian gravitation, this essay attempts to distinguish between the dynamical structure associated with a theory in physics, and its kinematical structure. This enables a distinction to be made between a structural realist interpretation of a theory based on its dynamical structure, and a structural realist interpretation of spacetime, as described by a theory, based on its kinematical structure. I offer category-theoretic formulations of dynamical and kinematical structure and indicate the extent to which such formulations deflect recent criticism of the radical ontic structural realist's conception of structure as "relations devoid of relata".


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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Keywords: structural realism, spacetime, category theory
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
    Specific Sciences > Physics
    General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
    Conferences and Volumes: [2009] Metaphysics of Science (Melbourne, July 2-5, 2009)
    Depositing User: Jonathan Bain
    Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2009
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:18
    Item ID: 4732
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/4732

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